MITCHELLVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Maryland State Police have identified the trio aboard a small plane that crashed Monday afternoon just off Rt. 50 near Freeway Airport in Prince George's County.
The pilot/owner is Alireza Tivay, 58, of Washington, D.C.; a passenger Deborah A. Tucker, 48, of Alexandria, Va., and another passenger Seth Sharpe, 45, of Laurel, Md; were all on board the plane when it crashed.
All were in critical condition at Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center Tuesday afternoon, the hospital reported.
The trio are friends who were on a holiday sightseeing flight piloted by Tivay in his 1960's-vintage Mooney, according to Tivay's brother John Tiva.
Tivay is a communications software engineer with a long-standing passion for recreational flying, his brother said.
The plane crashed onto the shoulder of westbound US Route 50 at about 3:45 p.m. Monday, nearly missing several cars and bringing homeward bound holiday traffic to a halt for nearly an hour.
The plane had just taken off from Freeway Airport. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have not determined what caused the plane to nose into a berm next to the highway seconds after lift-off.
Tucker was extricated from the plane by Maryland state troopers when they arrived on the scene. She was first transported by Prince George's County EMS to the Prince George's Hospital Center. Tivay and Sharpe were both transported by Maryland State Police helicopters to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
Maryland State Police from the College Park Barrack responded to a 911 call at about 3:45 p.m. from a motorist on Rt. 50 near Church Road who reported seeing the plane go down. Troopers and Prince George's County Fire Department personnel responded to the scene.
According to a Maryland State Police press release, the preliminary investigation indicates the single engine Mooney model M20 four seat aircraft was taking off from the Freeway Airport when, for unknown reasons, the plane began losing altitude. The plane crossed both east and westbound lanes of Rt. 50 before crashing into trees just off the shoulder of westbound Rt. 50.
Maryland State Highway Administration personnel responded to assist with lane closures and detours around the area. Several lanes of westbound Rt. 50 between Rt. 197 and Enterprise Road were closed at the scene for the investigation for approximately two and a half hours. The left three lanes and HOV lanes of westbound Rt. 50 are now reopened, however the right lane and shoulder will remain closed for an extended period of time.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified and responded to the scene. An investigation into the cause of the crash will be conducted by federal authorities.
The incident is the second crash of a small plane from the airport in the past 10 days. Three survivors walked away from a crash on August 24.